Letter writers are wary of BC Hydro’s plans to install smart meters to record consumption of energy in homes and businesses.

Smart on data, not on safety

Deployment of a radiation-emitting device on every home and business in the province, without due diligence, public education or oversight, is alarming to say the least

Re: “Green party gets lost in the static,” B.C. Views, Aug. 3).

Tom Fletcher is correct. The 2009 B.C. Greens’ platform had a timeline that included smart metering by 2012. We did not recommend wireless meters because, as Fletcher mentioned, we have precautionary policy on EMF radiation.

Our policy was revised in 2010. The initiatives we wanted implemented prior to new meters – feed-in tariffs, time-of-day pricing and regional management boards – were not in progress at the end of 2009 so that the timeline for smart metering was eliminated.

Without being tied to substantial energy conservation, BC Hydro’s smart meter program is simply a different and more expensive way to collect data. A billion dollars invested in conservation and energy retrofits, diversifying to renewable energy, or any number of priorities should precede changing meters.

Fletcher may dismiss health concerns associated with wireless technology, but people have a right to feel safe and healthy in their own homes. Those who chose not to use such technology should not be forced to do so.

Wireless smart meters are a technological solution looking for a problem. With shrewd marketing, the companies that developed wireless smart meters have become wealthy with sole-source contracts from government after government. At some point, given deficits and debt load, we will need to reverse the decision-making process so that long-term plans actually precede implementation of new technology.

Other jurisdictions are putting moratoriums on or cancelling the installation of smart meters. We are recommending BC Hydro listen to valid privacy, security and health concerns and change course.

 

Jane Sterk

Leader, Green Party of B.C.

 

Do your research first

 

Enough with the tinfoil hat jokes. Legislative reporter Tom Fletcher has now joined the ranks of other journalists who use sarcasm and damaging accusations to muddy the waters of understanding and awareness.

In his editorial, he dismisses the growing wealth of scientific research and information that strongly supports what people like Elizabeth May and Jane Sterk were brave enough to put forward in their press conference last week.

To enter into a constructive conversation with a powerful conglomerate like Hydro and the provincial Liberals isn’t often attempted.

To face ridicule when presenting a reasonable, balanced alternative view is a sad commentary on our media and on us as a society.

Must we ignore any opinion or insight that doesn’t reinforce our own? If so, how will we gain or cultivate any kind of reasonable perspective?

To date, in most newspapers, there has been precious little balanced local information presented about smart meters. This in light of the fact that, if Hydro has its way, in spite of a growing outcry, these wireless meters, with all their drawbacks, will be mounted on every home and business in B.C. And most people here are still saying, “What’s a smart meter?”

This is becoming a very real issue for those who care about their personal security, cost of living, safety, health, human rights and our children’s future.

In attempting to discredit the World Health Organization’s rating of RF radiation as a possible 2B carcinogen by pointing to pickled vegetables, Mr. Fletcher embarrasses himself yet again. He conveniently fails to tell anyone that the 2B rating also places RF in the same category with lead, chloroform, DDT, diesel exhaust, dry cleaning chemicals and about 200 other possible carcinogens. Among them are, yes, pickled vegetables from China, where questionable chemicals are used in their manufacturing.

There is much to learn. Deployment of a radiation-emitting device on every home and business in the province, without due diligence, public education or oversight, is alarming to say the least. B.C. Hydro executives have joined with big business, “green washing” their message, manipulating the public in ways that will have major human, environmental and societal costs. Should crown corporations such as BC Hydro be using taxpayer dollars for initiatives that endanger the health, security and privacy of the population, with no options in place?

Please listen up, journalists who jump on bandwagons and write without knowing what you are writing about: Read the literature you are avoiding and discounting. Look more deeply at the gold standard, peer-reviewed and published scientific studies and the highly qualified sources listed and showcased on the websites you haven’t bothered to search, and the books you haven’t time to read. Listen to brave voices.

Visit www.citizensforsafetechnology.org. Research, and read intelligently, findings and insights unfamiliar to you, before putting your own ignorance on display.

 

Linda Ewart

White Rock

Surrey North Delta Leader

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